Brexit parkings & traffic jam in the 'Garden of England'

Sentinel-1 CSAR SM acquired on 07 April 2015 at 17:40:49 UTC
Sentinel-2 MSI acquired on 30 September 2015 at 11:11:06 UTC
Sentinel-2 MSI acquired on 24 December 2020 at 11:03:59 UTC
Sentinel-1 CSAR IW acquired on 24 December 2020 at 17:41:27 UTC
Author(s): Sentinel Vision team, VisioTerra, France -
Keyword(s): Infrastructure, road, port, parkings, England, United Kingdom, France
Fig. 1 - S2 (04.05.2016 & 04.11.2020) - New development in Whitfield and Guston next to Dover and the A2 & A256 roadways.
Fig. 2 - S2 (04.05.2016 & 04.11.2020) - On the other end of the A256, Manston Airport is being reconditioned as a truck parking.
Fig. 3 - S2 (30.09.2015 & 04.11.2020) - New infrastructures have been developped in Ebbsfleet and Northfleet, close to the A2.
The end of the transitional phase of the Brexit will cause an increase of paperwork for the delivery of goods. In anticipation of this issue, the United Kingdom is building urgently several parkings able to host thousands of lorries in the Kent county. The BBC gives the exemple of Sevington: "A lorry park being built to relieve congestion on Kent's roads post-Brexit will not be fully operational when the transition period ends on 1 January. The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed planned customs checks on the site at Sevington near Ashford will have to take place elsewhere. The site will be available to park 1 200 lorries if needed but a customs controls area will not be ready. Wet weather has been blamed by the DfT for work falling behind schedule."
Fig. 4 - S2 (25.03.2016 & 04.11.2020) - New buildings and new traffic jam on the M20 near the Channel Tunnel terminal at Folkestone.
"Customs checks on HGVs will instead be carried out another site in Ashford, the government has said. A spokesman for the DfT said: 'From 1 January customs checks on HGVs will be taking place at the Ashford Waterbrook site before permanently moving to the Sevington site in February 2021 if not before. The Sevington site will open as planned on 1 January to manage traffic should there be disruption.' Authorities have warned of the potential for delays when new border controls are implemented from new year and 7 000 HGVs is thought to be the maximum queue length expected in Kent under worst-case scenario planning."
Fig. 5 - S2 (30.09.2015 & 04.11.2020) - Large parking lots are being built in Sevington, next to Ashford and the M20.
"St Mary’s Church and the construction work at the neighbouring Sevington inland border facility in Ashford, Kent on 6 November, 2020." - Source: PA MEDIA
Fig. 6 - S1 (07.04.2015 & 06.12.2020) - Extension of Dover port.
In another article, the BBC writes about the site of Guston, next to Dover, as follows: "The Department for Transport (DfT) has bought the farmland, beside the A2 at Guston, as a place to carry out the extended checks needed due to Brexit. The site will be used in addition to Manston and Ashford lorry parks, as a possible base for HMRC and Defra."
Fig. 7 - S1 (07.04.2015 & 06.12.2020) - Extension of Calais port.
"Further planning consent is still required and nearby residents are to be consulted, a DfT spokeswoman said. 'We understand concerns about resulting disruption, which is why we are working with the relevant authorities and our principal designer to ensure the surrounding roads are not negatively impacted by increased HGV movements,' she added."
Fig. 8 - S2 (04.05.2016 & 04.11.2020) - On the French side, a new building has been built possibly for the Dover-Dunkirk line, what could be a parking is also being built.
"According to the DfT, the Dover White Cliffs checkpoint is required because the port does not have the space needed for extended checks. Under the plans it will have purpose-built structures to check animals, animal products or high-risk foods. It is expected the site, which will have spaces for about 670 HGVs, will be able to be expanded to conduct full border control checks from July 2021."
Fig. 9 - S2 (04.11.2020 & 24.12.2020) - All around Maidstone, traffic jams cover the M20 in the direction toward France.
"New border checks could impact on travel times for lorries crossing between Kent and Europe" - Source: PA MEDIA
Fig. 10 - S1 (06.12.2020 & 24.12.2020) - Half of the distance between Maistone and Ashford is covered by a continuous line of vehicles.
The negotiation between the United Kingdom and the European Union regarding the end of the transition period (at the end of 2020) was achieved only on 24 December 2020. In the last days before a possible no-deal, companies and citizens prepared a large stock of goods to reduce the risk of shortage which largely increased the truck traffic.
Fig. 11 - S2 (04.11.2020 & 24.12.2020) - A white ribbon of vehicles between Ashford and Folkestone.
Unfortunately for the British citizens, issues related to the variant of COVID found in the United Kingdom came on top of Brexit consequences. France chose to limit the circulation of people coming from Great Britain, this worst-case scenario caused massive trafic jams.